I added a new section of work to my portfolio site called Glory.
I have wanted to photograph a tent revival for as long as I can remember. This summer, on one of many trips home to photograph, I happened upon a tent meeting where a service had just gotten underway. Sitting in my truck with the windows down, listening and not wanting to intrude, I noticed a man get up from his chair, leave the cover of the tent and make his way to me. “You’re welcome to join us,” he said. I explained that I was a photographer and that I didn’t want to impose and take the focus away from the message. Gripping my hand again, he said, “Honey, you can take pictures of anything you want. You’re welcome here.”
Brother Roger Stevens and everyone in attendance that evening welcomed me and invited me back to another tent revival a few weeks later. In Baisden, I met Jay West, son of well-known tent preacher, R.A. West of Varney, West Virginia. These photographs are from July and August of 2014 in Goody, Kentucky in Pike County and on Gilbert Creek in Baisden, West Virginia in Mingo County.
Though I don’t identify with their specific beliefs, they are familiar to me. The language, the signs, the themes. Roadside signs that serve both as warnings and promises, waypoints to help one navigate on both the literal and spiritual road. Songs of hope and promise, messages of a need for salvation. “I’ll tell you what this nation needs; it needs Hell preached hot,” Brother Roger says in one his sermons.
These are early photo and video sketches of a series I hope to work on over the next several summers. I’m grateful to have met these folks.